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New England Weather: Mild Pattern Continues; Sunday Storm Clips Cape

Average weather just isn't in the cards for New England this winter. It seems to be either spring-like warmth or teeth chattering cold. Last weekend, the most intense arctic blast in years gripped the region. The coldest wind chill recorded during the outbreak was -108° on Mt. Washington. The coldest chill reported in a populated town or city in the region was -61° in Frenchville, Maine early Saturday morning.


The temperature rose quickly on Sunday, though. Really quick. In Boston, the temperature sat at -9° around 6am on Saturday, February 4. By 2pm on Sunday, February 5, the temperature made it to 50° in the city. That 59 degree rise is the biggest temperature swing within 36 hours in the city's history, beating the old record of 54 degrees set in 1951.


Going from the coldest in years to well above average without a seasonable day in between seems to sum up New England's winter weather perfectly. However, there has been far more above-average weather than the other.



An area of high pressure sat over the southeast coast this past week, pumping warmer air up the east coast into New England. This peaked on Friday when several cities across New England broke (or came very close to breaking) daily record highs. There will be one seasonable day today, Saturday (2/11), but it won't last long. Temperatures will shoot back above average on Sunday (2/12) and likely stay up. Most of New England has a 70-80% chance of above average temperatures through February 20.


There does appear to be a one day cool down coming next Saturday (2/18), with seasonable weather expected after another very warm Friday (2/17). But again, this seasonable weather will likely only last a day. Temperatures are generally forecast to be above average from February 19-23. Much of New England has a 50-60% chance of above average temperatures during this time with much of southern New England at 60-70%. Those numbers drop off as you head into Maine.


Starting to head out further, forecasts get fuzzier and less confident, naturally. I typically don't give much thought to the NOAA's 3-4 week temperature outlook, but for New England's winter fans, I will this time. It's the only place where things appear to be improving. The February 25-March 10 outlook is showing equal chances for above or below average temperatures across southern New England. In northern New England, there's a 50-55% chance of below average temperatures.


Coming back to this weekend, a coastal storm will remain well to the south of New England, but will still be close enough for areas of southern New England to get into the storm's outer reaches. There is some discrepancy over just how far north precipitation will get. The National Weather Service of Boston states: (NOTE: RGEM and NAM are weather models)


"The Global models really just indicate a period of rain scraping areas near the south coast. Meanwhile...the RGEM/NAM are further northwest with the quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) into parts of RI/SE and also more robust amounts near and southeast of the Cape Cod Canal. In fact...the NAM brings heavy enough QPF/dynamics into the region to flip areas near the Cape to wet snow before precipitation ends on Mon. The antecedent airmass is not cold by any means..."


What is certain is that Cape Cod and the islands will be getting wet from this storm. How wet the south shore and Rhode Island get are more of an uncertainty. There will likely be spotty showers into Rhode Island and the south shore. It is unlikely that any precipitation will make it northwest of interstate of 95, however the storm will bring cloudy skies to much of New England. Up to a quarter inch of rain is possible on Cape Cod Sunday night.



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